` Kerala Ayurveda health clinic: FAQ
Ayurveda FAQ (Frequently Asked Qustions)

Part I. The Healthcare system
1. What is Ayurveda?
2. Ayurveda is said to be eternal. Why?
3. What is the central principle of Ayurveda?
4. How is Ayurveda different from modern medicines?
5. What are the salient features of the Ayurveda Health care system?
6. In one sentence, what is the message of Ayurveda to the present-day human being?
7. What is the action plan of Ayurveda for a ‘toxin free body and electrical mind’?
8. Why is Ayurveda becoming more and more popular in the western world?
9. What is the contribution of Buddhism in Ayurveda?
10.What are the eight branches of Ayurveda?

Part II. Basic principles of Ayurveda

11.What is the Ayurvedic view of the organizational layout of the body?
12.What are the main pillars of the human organism, according to Ayurveda ? How are they related?
13.What is the relationship between the vital energy (Dosha), tissue (Dhathu) and impurities?
14.What is the tridosha theory? Why is the tridosha considered the central point around which the philosophy of Ayurveda is woven?
15.What is the effect of three doshas?

Part III. Ayurvedic healthcare products and procedures.

16.Are all Ayurvedic products of natural origin?
17.Which are the authentic texts on which these health care products are based?
18.What are the popular pharmaceutical forms of Ayurvedic medicines?
19.What are the diseases for which treatment is available in Ayurveda?
20.What is the importance of Ayurvedic procedures?
21.What is Panchakarma?
22.How is Panchakarma therapy performed ?
23.What is the Ayurvedic view of skin and hair care ?

11.What is the Ayurvedic view of organisational layout of the body ?

The science of Ayurveda has simplified the organisational layout of the human body into three basic components, Dosha (Fault), Dhatu (Tissue) and Mala (Impurities).

The entire science of Ayurveda is based on the Pancha Mahabhootha ("five great elements") theory.

The five elements are Earth (Pruthvi), Water (Jal), Fire (Agni or Tej), Air (Vayu) and Ether or Space (Akash).

In ayurvedic philosophy, all matter in the universe is made up of these elements.

Earth represents the solid state, water the liquid state, air the gaseous state, fire transforming force and ether is simultaneously the source of all matter and the space in which it exists.

Thus all matter from tissues and organs, to diets and "doshas" (faults) is built on the five elements.

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12.What are the main pillars of human organism, according to Ayurveda ? How are they related?

The troika of Fault (Dosha)-Tissue (Dhatu)-Impurities (Mala) is along with Fire (Agni), which means the fire of life that transforms matter in to energy form the main pillars of human organism.

The fourth component is the mind, which is of immense importance according to Ayurveda.

According to the concept of good management, Ayurveda insists that the...
Fault (Dosha),
Tissue (Dhatu) and
Impurity (Mala)
... should be in harmony with each other, with all the components properly balanced.

Any discordant note in this orchestra due to external or internal causes is a cause of concern.

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13.What is the relationship between vital energy (Dosha), Tissue (Dhathu) and Impurities ?

The ‘doshas’ are executives in the organ. They influence the functioning of tissues (Dhatus) and therefore the metabolic end products (Mala)

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14.What is ‘tridosha’ theory? Why is tridosha considered the central point around which the philosophy of Ayurveda is woven ?

‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’ and ‘Kapha’ are the names of tridoshas.

Vata (air), Pitta (bile) and Kapha (phlegm) means more than literal. Doshas are basically three different forms of energy.

The three doshas contain two of the five elements as any other matter.

Thus ‘vata’ is made up of air and space and hence the lightest ‘dosha’. ‘Pitta’ contains fire and water, and ‘kapha’ with earth and water is the heavist of all ‘doshas’.

They work as a team in a natural healthy individual and could be termed, ‘the executives’ of human organism.

Perfect balance of these three doshas(energies) is the basis of well being.

These constituents give specific properties to ‘doshas’ with each ‘dosha’ having one property particular to itself and two opposite to others.

Hence the character of doshas is influenced mainly by what is eaten as also by the ambient temperature, season, input, mental state etc. In most persons either one or combination of ‘doshas’ would be dominant. This defines the constitution of the person.

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15.What is the effect of three ‘doshas’ ?

If ‘doshas’ are dynamic energies, ‘Vata dosha’ is the kinetic energy. The Word ‘vata’ means ‘which moves’.

Vatha dosha is initiator of all forms of activity. It is important in the communication network of the body – from sense organ to brain and consciousness, from tissue to tissue and cell to cell.

‘Vata’ is responsible for perception (that includes pain), assimilation and reaction.

It brings a thought from memory to consciousness and transfers current experience into memories. It inspires speech and is the base of laughter and exaltation.

At the level of physical body it is responsible for micro and macro movement.

‘Vata’ is more cerebral.

‘Vata dosha’ is the force behind the finger that writes and can be called the C.E.O. of the company.

Vata has maturity and power of old age. Stress vitiates ‘vata’ which in turn alters ‘pitta’ or ‘kapha’ leading to wide verity of symptoms.

Lack of sleep, excessive physical activity and long hours of fasting also vitiate ‘ vata’.

In all, there are five types of ‘vata dosha’.

‘Pitta dosha’ is responsible for all types of transformations in the body.

Pitta controls digestion of food as well as conversion of light rays that fall on the retina to electric impulses.

In the brain there is a local ‘pitta dosha’, responsible for comprehension and analysis of data received. A person with pre determined ‘pitta dosha’ is highly intelligent, quick to process sensory inputs and able to reach decisions promptly.

Pitta controls emotion like anger, fear and bravado.

Pitta controls digestion of food, it is responsible for hunger, appetite and thirst.

It gives sheen to the skin. In contrast to vata, pitta is more physical.

There are five types of ‘pitta dosha’.

Although predominance of ‘pitta dosha’ imparts a glow to the skin, and make the hair soft and shiny, it can lead to early wrinkling of skin, graying of hair and tendency to bald prematurely.

Excessive sweating, intolerance to heat, warm soles and palms (often moist) are characteristics of ‘pitta’ predominance.

Increase in ‘pitta’ either due to dietary imbalance or other reasons lead to hunger but the food is not well digested, thus leaving the individual lethargic. Head aches, vomiting, or diarrhoea and skin disease occur.

‘Pitta dosha’ is most predominant during youth and adulthood.

‘Pitta’ get deranged on eating too spicy or oily food or on having a late night party ( particularly if alcoholic beverages have been consumed), or under tension and anxiety.

If increased it can hasten aging, besides causing havoc to digestion.

Pitta dosha is the upwardly mobile executive.

‘Pitta’ reflects the dynamics of youth.

‘Kapha dosha’, the third angle of ‘dosha’ triangle is also termed phlegm (even though literal meaning is phlegm, this is not what it actually represents in the tridosha theory.

Kapha is the cohesive energy in the body, it smoothes out problems, lubricates and provides support when needed.

It acts as in house public relations officer.

If ‘vata’ is kinetic energy then ‘kapha’ is potential energy.‘Kapha’ is very close to tissues and like ‘pitta’ has greater physical form than ‘vata’.

It shares many of the properties of tissue it influences. It is anti thesis of ‘pitta’ and is protective in nature. Its main property is stability. In contrast of ‘pitta’, ‘kapha’ denotes loyalty, compassion and love.

A predominance of this ‘dosha’ makes a person forgiving in nature free from envy and endowed with patience.

It gives mental strength and resistance to diseases. It gives firmness to joints while keeping them lubricated. It also enhances sexual potency.

There are five types of kapha dosha, based on both anatomy and body function.

Kapha being made up of water and earth is heavy and moist.

Sweet, sour and salty items in the food can thus disturb this inherently heavy ‘dosha’.

Carbohydrates and fats can increase ‘kapha’. It usually at its most prominent during morning and early evening. Similarly springtime seen that ‘kapha dosha’ at its most aggressive.

It is during this time that the people with ‘kapha dosha’ suffer the most and if sweet meats are consumed in large quantities they tend to become lazy.

Predominance of ‘kapha’ makes a person plump, contented and perhaps a little slow.

Yet this property makes the person have an immense duralicity in most adverse conditions.

If this dosha is deranged there can be emaciation, impotence, dry mouth, poor digestion. ‘Kapha’ abnormalities lead to respiratory disease, polyuria, feeble mindedness, weakness and lethargy.

Kapha is gentle arbitrator, controlling the youthfulness of ‘pitta’, but always willing to obey ‘vata’.

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IMPORTANT: all of the above is only for information purposes and not intended as a guidline for anytype of therapy. The actual practice of ayurvedic therapy may vary in different clinics. The treatments we offer at our clinic may vary between individuals, since ayurvedic therapy is always at a personal level and cannot be fully generalised in practice. If you are interested in getting ayurvedic treatment, you should get in contact with a well qualified, reputed and well-experienced (preferably several years) ayurvedic physician for more information. For a free consultation, you can contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer your needs.

DISCLAIMER: all of the above is written in the author's views and opinions and may or may not represent the views of this clinic. However, all material is written in good faith and the intent is for informative purposes.